META Tag Rules for SEO Optimization
Meta tags are not the only solution for organic search engine optimization. They are simply one piece of the overall search engine optimization process. The title tag and the Meta description tags are what searchers see in the search engine results pages (SERPS). So optimize these tags and include a marketing message to help users click on the website. Here are some basic Meta Tag rules with 2008 standards applied.
Basic Meta Rules for SEO
Title Tag: Title Tag is the most important part of a Web page to optimize. It appears at the top (title bar) area of the Web browser and as the first line in the search engine results page. On most search results pages the title tag is used as the main link to the site in the listing. Most importantly search engines use them to determine the theme of the website.
1. Place the TITLE tag within the <HEAD> tag
2. Should contain the most important keyword that appears on the Web page
3. Limit to 60-70 characters including spaces between <TITLE> and </TITLE>
4. Place the most relevant keyword phrase at the beginning of the text
5. Don’t blatantly repeat the keyword.
6. Don’t use stop words such as “the”, “a”, “as”, “of”
7. Should read well and contain a marketing message
8. Remember to keep your TITLE tag short and to the point.
Description Tag: Meta Description Tag is a significant part of a Web page to optimize and appears as the second line in the search engine results pages. Essentially it provides a brief description to the visitor about your webpage and sets their potential. Place your Meta Description Tag directly below the TITLE tag. The difficult part is optimizing this tag for both the spiders and your site visitors.
1. Limit the number of characters to 150 – 180
2. Blend keywords that appear on the Web page with a strong marketing message and call to action
3. Limit the use of stop words and don’t repeat words
4. Keep keywords unique to the Web page
5. Write in complete sentences and keep important keywords at the beginning of the description
6. Place tag within the <head> section of the HTML code
Header (H) Tags: H tags are built-in purpose of HTML that shows the text within this tag as a header. They are assigned a importance (1 being the most important) and repeated on the same page. The most common use of the H tag is the title or top line of text that appears on the web page, the header.
1. Use H1 tags for the header or most important text of the page
2. Use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to control the color and size of the tag
3. H tags give some extra importance to the words within it
4. The format looks like this: <h1> Search Engine Optimization Techniques</h1>
Alt (Image) Tags: Most of the People will like to include some images of the website. Alt text can usually be seen by hovering over a picture with the cursor in a browser. A helpful way to boost your search engine ranking is to include the ALT attribute, which means alternative text. This tag is read by search engines and they also contribute to the on-page optimization.
1. Use the alt tag on product pictures
2. Good place to strategically place keywords and boost results
3. Use the alt tag on the site logo – it should contain the company name
4. The alt tag is part of 508 compliance (accessible to people with disabilities)
5. Search engines cannot read pictures, they read the alternative text
6. Do not over use the alt tag
7. Do not stuff it with keywords